Episode for March 17, 2024

SUPD 1066 John Avlon for Congress!

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From John Avlon for Congress

I’m a native New Yorker and the grandson of immigrants. They inspired in me a deep love for our country and an appreciation that the blessings of America cannot be taken for granted. I’ve warned about dangers to our democracy for over a decade — in books, columns and on TV. This election is not a drill. Now’s the time for us all to stand up and get off the sidelines. We need to build the broadest possible coalition to defeat Donald Trump, defend democracy and win back the House from his extreme MAGA minions. That’s why I’m running for Congress in New York’s 1st district.

If you’ve seen me on CNN or my appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher or the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, you know that I’ve consistently called out the unhinged extremism and poisonous polarization in our politics. I’ve tried to be a voice of reason in unreasonable times, preaching the need to focus on common facts and common ground so we can find solutions to our common problems.

As an author and presidential historian, I’ve written about times when it looked like the American experiment was falling apart – from the founding era to the Civil War. Unifying leadership is essential in divided times. But it also requires citizens rallying together to take responsibility for our country. History shows we need to have confidence when we confront hard times, not give in to division and despair. If we do that, we’ll look back on these challenging times with pride.

I’ve loved the East End of Long Island since I first saw it decades ago, from the historic villages to the big sky that begins with the Pine Barrens to the sweep of beaches that are famous around the world. My wife and I first lived in our house the winter after we got married, both writing books by the fireplace. This is a magic place that’s inspired generations of people who are lucky enough to live here. 

While New Yorkers are proudly independent, Suffolk County is also defined by a sense of community. Today, our shared values are under attack. Trump’s flunkies see bipartisanship as a problem rather than a solution. Their agenda isn’t conservative, it’s radical — a direct threat to women’s reproductive rights, the environment, and democracy itself. They’re driven by right-wing special interests rather than the national interest.

Abraham Lincoln once said the proper role of government is to do for people what they cannot do so well for themselves on an individual basis. To that end, the next member of Congress needs to fight for federal investment in climate change mitigation, improved transportation, and help for working families that reduces the cost of living while improving their quality of life. 

We need to stand up for a woman’s right to choose. We need to have the common sense to understand that public safety is a fundamental civil right. We need to bring back the state and local tax deductions that Trump and the Republicans took away as part of a political stunt — as well as expand the child tax credit. We need to strengthen the guardrails around our democracy, including investing in civic education. Most of all, our next congressman needs to be willing to work with people of good faith to solve the urgent problems we face. 

There’s one precondition for all of this: the next Democratic nominee needs to be able to win a general election. That hasn’t happened here in over a decade. 

Now is one of those times in our nation’s history when we’re all called to stand up for something bigger than ourselves. We can’t afford to pretend that a presidential nominee who praises dictators and threatens democracy is normal. We need to confront lies with facts and darkness with light. It might not be popular to say this in a primary, but it’s time for us all to put country over party. I’m running for Congress to do just that. 

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